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Written on: Friday August 31st, 2007

A journal entry from: Bolivia, Peru, and the Galapagos!

(NOTE: Click ahead for the first three days of the Galapagos... I'm uploading pics at the moment...) 

I had three nights in Lima at the end of the Peruvian tour. Lima was also where we were reunited with Fiona who had spent the past week in Cuzco with her new Peruvian boyfriend. Upon reuniting with us, she promptly showed us her tattoo. It was something written in Hebrew on her spine, starting at the base of her neck and continuing about 8 inches down. Orlando had a matching one. Given that neither of them is anything close to Jewish, I find it a bit odd that they got tattoos written in Hebrew (nevermind that Jews can't even get tattoos!). But who am I to judge?

The first night in Lima was the last dinner that our group ate together before we started going our separate ways. Our tour guide also invited her mother and husband to the dinner (so they could get free meals off of us too, lucky them). Nobody tipped her for her 3 weeks of work for us. The restaurant was just a few blocks from our hotel in the Miraflores district of Lima (one of the nicer ones) on the edge of square. The food was good and the service was impeccable (the best we've had so far!). After dinner, some of us continued on to a salsa club called Son de Cuba. Most of the patrons there were great salsa dancers. This included creepy latino men that would ask you to dance, and when you proved to them that you had no clue how to salsa, they would wink and with a cheesy grin say "I teach". This line must work on other gringas, because at least two of them tried to use it on us, but all it did was make us laugh.

That night we said goodbye to Joann and Rich who were continuing on for 4.5 months, which includes stops in Chile, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and other countries that I can't remember. Also, tall Sarah and Larissa returned home to England where Larissa was starting a job at Rolls Royce and Sarah was beginning medical school at Oxford. And, finally, Fiona returned home to Ireland claiming that Orlando would be following her in a couple months...

On the second day in Lima, I woke up late and had a lazy morning, then Louise and I had a gigantic lunch of ceviche and a sandwich before going to Starbucks (!!!!) to grab a real cup of coffee. Up until this point, most of the coffee that I had been served was Nescafe instant coffee. Peru grows coffee beans, yet people seem to prefer Nescafe. I don't get it! After lunch, we met up with short Sarah and Isabella and took a city tour. The bus drove us around a few neighborhoods of Lima and we stopped for a tour of a monastery (including a catacomb where tens of thousands of bones were stored). The tour concluded at a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The tour was nice, but was probably not worth the $20 we each paid for it. After the tour, the four of us ate dinner at a pizza place with an awkward/adorable old waiter, then headed back for an early night and said goodbye to Isabella who was returning to London early the next morning.

On day three, Louise, Sarah and I went to the mall. You laugh, I know. But Louise and Sarah were heading home to England the next day and needed to buy gifts (I'm not buying gifts people, so don't get excited.). I also took the opportunity to visit a bookstore and buy any books written in English that seemed interesting (this was a difficult task since most of the English books were trashy murder mystery novels). While at the mall, we indulged in another Starbucks coffee. After the mall, we lazed around the hotel until dinner time. We ate at a restaurant recommended by our tour guide from our city tour the day before, Al Fresco. The food was decent, but the restaurant was empty (two other tables of people besides us). We didn't know why it was so empty (especially since it was 8:30 on a Friday night and there were plenty of people outside wandering the streets. We concluded that it must be a place for lunch. I dunno...  And finally, after dinner, we all said our final goodbyes.... Off to Ecuador for me tomorrow morning.